It’s a candidate’s market: top talent is on the lookout for opportunities that will be a launchpad for their careers. Over the last few months on The CFO Playbook, we’ve spoken with CFOs to gather their best advice on hiring and retention, and we’ve compiled them for you.
On this episode of The CFO Playbook, we share some of the best advice for hiring and retaining top-tier talent that we’ve received from finance leaders who have been guests on the show.
Tony Russo is the CFO of Imply, a full stack, multi-cloud data platform pioneering ‘analytics-in-motion.’ With a successful track record scaling B2B SaaS and enterprise software companies through organic growth and acquisitions, Tony has a wealth of knowledge about evaluating opportunities as a CFO.
One of the things that I’ve started to do more of over the last–call it five years–is I try to do a better job figuring out if we have the right investments in people in the right roles.
In Anup Singh’s second CFO role, at Clearwell Systems, he intentionally built a positive culture that contributed to the company winning an award for being one of the best places to work in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. With 15 years’ experience as a CFO at various companies, he currently holds the position at cybersecurity company Illumio.
I absolutely think as a leader…you should aspire to be the least smart person in the room. You hire really smart people.
Jeannie De Guzman is the CFO at 1Password, a $2B password management company trusted by more than 90,000 businesses. In her role as CFO, Jeannie makes sure finance functions as a valued business partner to the rest of the organization, and implements modern tools that help her people do more meaningful work.
I like to hire people that I could have lunch with and have a conversation with just back and forth and it doesn’t have to be about finance, but it can be about anything.
Craig Foster is the CFO at Picsart, a suite of online photo and video editing applications with a social creative community. With over 25 years of management experience and having worked on 35 IPOs, Craig is carrying those accomplishments and relationships forward to create value for his team and the company.
So I think that creating a really nice balance between the two of having people that can provide mentorship and then having really young talent that you can move through a system very, very quickly based on their own attributes creates kind of like red leveling for us.
If the person’s willing to show discomfort and vulnerability in the process and they show comfort in the topics that are very important to us, that could be a way to test someone who doesn’t have a history of taking risks.
Ross Tennenbaum is the CFO at Avalara, a SAAS company building cloud-based tax compliance solutions to handle every transaction in the world. Two years into his first tenure as CFO, he’s applied what he learned from years in investment banking to understand the business, invest in technology, and build an engaged finance team.
We hired some people that come from doing automation in finance departments at other companies… I think that that is money really, really well spent.
I think by expanding the aperture of where you’re willing to hire. I think by being willing to say, ‘okay, there’s some senior leaders that aren’t on the ground here and that’s okay.’ It’s opened up more opportunities. That said, everyone else is doing that, too.
Empathetic culture, career paths are really important. How do you create the vacuum where you can actually pull people up and people can see. ‘Hey, things are moving. I can put my hand up. I can get a career path going. I don’t have to just go look outside the company.
David Harutian is the VP of Finance at Qualified, a conversational sales and marketing platform. David brings his experiences as an adviser in investment banking and corporate development in-house leading the finance team of the hypergrowth tech startup.
Even though we are paying competitive salary and equity packages, I would say the appeal ends up being the type of work that they would be doing.
One of our big challenges right now is we are in what I would say, hypergrowth stage, you know, quadrupling and tripling. We were hiring so many people. It is imperative to make sure that operationally our systems are communicating accurately and the data is flowing accurately to the right locations where we can actually then extract it and analyze it.
Steve Gallucci is the Global & US National Managing Partner of the CFO Program at Deloitte, which harnesses the broad capabilities of the firm to deliver forward-thinking insights for every stage of a CFO’s career. With 30 years of experience at Deloitte, Steve helps CFOs manage the complexities of their roles, tackle compelling challenges, and adapt to strategic shifts in the market.
CFOs have to be that empathetic leader and understand some of the challenges that they have as an organization, but how does their work, what challenges their workforce have, how do they create career growth.
What CFOs are thinking about from a talent perspective, they want capabilities within their organization that has tech fluency. Well, it’s not to diminish the importance of technical ability and understanding things like treasury and accounting and taxation. Those things are certainly going to continue to be required, but that needs to be augmented and enabled with capabilities around tech fluency, an underlying attribute that they want out of their finance teams is agility.
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